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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Extreme Sports - Mom Style

Just when I THOUGHT life would coast for just a minute, Elise decided to step things up and get rid of her diaper! I tried a couple of months ago and she reminded me who was in control, and that folks, was NOT me. When asked by Emma's dance teacher week after week if Elise was a "Big Girl" yet, she always answered, "NO!" Seemingly annoyed more and more by the question, my niece decided that she would answer for Elise one day and said, "Nope, not today, maybe on Wednesday."

Many Wednesdays came and went until last Wednesday. Elise said, "Mommy, I want panties!" I didn't think about the "prediction" at first, and when I realized what day it was, I kind of got a shiver up my spine, that's weird.....I had to share it with the dance teacher, and her response was to remind her to ask Julie for some lotto numbers! (NO DOUBT!)

We have had to venture out of the house a few times,( as much as I have wanted to stop the world on its axis until we have this all figured out, Emma must dance and we must eat) so on those occasions I've considered this Extreme Sports -Mom Style!

Like any sporting enthusiast, I have all the right equipment for these "outings", the potty, turning the back of my SUV into a personal oasis, for my "Big Girl" in training. A fold up potty seat, for the public washrooms so we don't lose her in the BIG toilets, and of course 62 changes of clothes for those just- in- case moments. She thinks it's pretty funny to go "pee" in the back of the truck as do passersby as they do a double take, just to make sure that they really are seeing what they are seeing. A couple of moms at ballet commented on my own port-a-potty system, but hey whatever works right! The pee MUST make it to the potty! And while "going" in the Costco washroom we made a few ladies laugh at the potty party we had after Elise made a deposit! I'm sure it was strange to hear clapping and cheering coming from the stall over, believe me it's weird to do it, but again, whatever works! Thank goodness my mother- in- law was there, as she explained what the big deal was!

And so for the last 4 days, my life has revolved around my almost three- year- old and the potty, and my latest blog entry is reduced to this.....I apologize!

I don't know how many times I have asked her, "Do you have to pee? Do you need to use the potty? Are you wet?" "How about now,..... now,........ now Elise,........ how about now?"

I am annoying myself let alone her, and most recently she answered, "NOOOO Mommy! Jeepers!"

Or my personal favourite so far, "Elise, going to the potty is a "poopy" job, but someone has to do it."

"Then YOU do it Mommy!" said after day two when I thought she had given up, but she didn't, she has persevered, each day drier than the last.

My quest right now is to convince her that poop goes in the same place, and not her pants. By day 4 this is still proving to be a problem, bribes of chocolate, a new toy, money, a vacation in the Bahamas, a day at the spa, are just not working. I know she'll finally let go and do it, in the mean time I've come up with some rules:

1) Elise is in control

2)I am NOT in control

3)When in doubt refer to rules number 1 and 2.

I must go and see if a potty break is in order! Until next time, my friends, wish us luck that we finally get our "poop in a group" and that my next entries are a little more profound than potty adventures!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Public Washroom Adventures

Kids are great aren't they? Who knew that when you had them, it would be a very long time until you were able to use the bathroom by yourself, or just how much fun you would have while using public facilities! Oh the adventures we've had over the years and oh how many more are to come!

Going to the public bathroom when your kids learn to talk is a phenomenon all of its own. The sights sounds and smells take on a whole new meaning in their little minds. Am I right? We try to quickly go in do our business and be on our merry way, but with my kids that hasn't happened just yet.

Before grocery shopping I had to go really bad, and was running through the parking lot to get to the bathroom, holding Elise in a football hold and dragging Emma by the hand almost flying her like a kite! As I am emptying my bladder Emma has to make her own color commentary, "Wow Mommy, you just keep peeing and peeing! Too much coffee again?"

I hear a snicker from the stall beside me, and I answer, "Yup, I guess so!"

It was Emma's turn and she comments on her own success, "I peed just as long as you this time Mommy! Maybe I'll even poop and I'll be the winner!"

More snickers from outside the stall, "Emma, going to the bathroom isn't really a competition there are no prizes for doing your business."

"Yes there is, you give Elise a chocolate every time she goes!"

(Touché.) "She's just learning and that's what I did with you, the party is over once you figure it out."

"Hmmmm....well I think it should be a party every time!"

"There isn't enough chocolate in the world to satisfy that dream Emma."


There have been many a comment on how much it stinks sometimes, and Elise voiced her opinion on the matter not too long ago. While waiting for Emma we hear "noises" from another stall, and even as an adult I still laugh at that, but manage to keep it to a minimum, until my baby said,


 ( Her famous tag line for when she does the ever so polite art of butt noises.) I do my very best to NOT let the girls see my reaction as it will start an uproar on all of our parts. Got myself under control, and then Elise looks under the door and yells,

 "Oh! Hers poopin' mommy! She's got a stinky butt, stinky butt stinky butt!"

I grab her arm and pull her from under the stall, apologize to the woman, and quickly make our escape so that I can just unleash the laughter and snorts to go along with it!

"But Mommy! We didn't wash our hands!"

"It's okay, I have hand sanitizer in my purse, let's go!"

I look forward to the days when going to the bathroom is just that, going to the bathroom , but the immature side of me loves that we, as a family, can make memories everywhere we "go"! So let's hear your funny public washroom displays, I KNOW you have them!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Moments of Pride

Three events, although separate, had the same outcome....

For me, writing is fun and a hobby. For years I was just putting my stories in an email and sending them off to family and friends. I didn't think much of my stories, just used them as ways to keep in touch. I have been told by many people that I need to write and share it with the world. I didn't really pay much attention to the praise, as the compliments came from my family and friends, and thought, well they have to be nice me! I have a very bad trait of not believing in myself, one that I do my very best NOT to pass onto my girls. I constantly tell them to "Believe in Yourself"! (So much that I painted it on Emma's wall!) And so I tell myself the same thing and do my best to listen! I am currently working on the "new" me through many different ways and I know that I must lead and guide my girls by example.

My friend Lindsay, helped me out just a month ago and gave my name to the publisher of the online magazine called , she had a look at my blog and asked me to submit. I was pretty shocked, ecstatic, scared and sick to my stomach all at the at time. Together we came up with my submission and voila! my story is out there for the world to see. A very proud moment for me, as I was recognised as Catharine, not just Emma and Elise's mom! A moment when I Believed in Myself.

Which leads me to my oldest daughter Emma. She is a very shy and sensitive soul. She takes much caution in everything that she does, making sure that she does things right the first time in order to please. When things go wrong or she gets hurt in some of those processes she tends to give up for the time being and address the matters at another time. Through the years I found this to be frustrating , and was worried about her future in this great big world. (People tend to get eaten up when they've shown so much vulnerability, especially girls.) She has inspired me on many occasions with her will and determination, and taught me to" relax", she'll figure things out on her own time.

We've been asking her if she is ready for her training wheels to come off since last summer and the answer was always no. She decided that last Sunday was the time to do it. You could see the excitement and fear in her eyes, as her dad held her up and gave her instructions. My cousin and I were cheering her on, snapping pictures, and giving her encouragement. She tried and tried, scared of falling, but still wanted to figure it out. After about an hour, she walked away from it, again, I was disappointed that she was "giving up" but knew that she would tackle it again later. And she did, this time it was me holding her up and giving her the" pep" talk. It wasn't long and she was on her way, riding and balancing and trusting herself that she could do it. She was so excited as she rode, screaming and giggling, "Look Mommy! I'm really doing it!!!! I did what you said and believed in myself!" Right there I realized that I won't have to worry about her future, she has it figured out at the ripe old age of five. I pray she continues on with her will and determination and that she will remember how she felt the day she rode her bike without training wheels, for it was a day that she proved to herself, and the world, that she can do anything.

And finally, my cousin had her own milestone, that we celebrated. She is an amazing young woman in her 20's, full of love for life and all that it brings, and you just can't help but smile when you are around her. She holds a special place in my heart, a soft spot really. Emma is her biggest fan too, her patience with my kids was in short, remarkable! We made plans for her to come here and visit for the weekend, she recently suffered a broken heart and, I wanted her to have fun and forget the stupid boy that, for a short time, made her doubt herself and her ability to be loved.

We had a fun filled jam packed weekend and she made a decision to go on a date with a new fellow, but wasn't sure she was going to go through with it. I encouraged her to go for it, and with a new hairdo, a nervous stomach and a rockin' outfit she was off. (She took life by the horns and let it ride!) The woman I know and love is back to believing in herself and knowing that love is out there, and that she will find it. Who knows who her "Mr. Right" is, but when she finds him he better sit down, hold on, and be thankful to the ones before him that let her get away. Life with her will be exciting, non-stop, and full of a love that will inspire those that we secretly envy.

We three women, though at different stages in our life held a common ground. One full of pride, and confidence and moments that we all shared together. I had my "15 minutes of fame", Emma learned to ride her bike and my cousin learned to get back on hers. Moments where we let go and believed that we could accomplish the specific goals that we had set before us. We didn't cure cancer but in our own ways we gained a little more confidence, and coming from a woman that has just learned how to gain confidence instead of fat, it was a week of momentous strides!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

3 Easy Steps My A**!!!!!

Due to the recent "shut-down" of my link to this blog on Facebook, I am now regretting not going through with post secondary education! I've been able to coast through life without having a degree or student loans to pay off, but it seems as though a simple copy and paste system is too much for my brain to handle.

Facebook decided that since people were sharing my link on their own pages( thank-you for that!) and people were clicking it, they need a piece of the action too.( Granted it's a free site so why not. )

I, at first thought they were censoring me,( which, I still think they sort of are,) but no, we need to link hand in hand and "share" so everything will be fine. I follow the directions on the "Wizard" portion of "connect with facebook" . In 3 Easy Steps I'll be on my way!  Should have been easy enough, I gave birth to two kids, this will be a walk in the "copy & paste" park!

Well either I'm a stupid "Wizard" or Facebook is because it won't let me get past step two.

"click to download file" (click!)

"open file?" (yes!)

A blank screen pops up, and I wait, waiting, wait, extra boxes, no bars to look at just a page that is blank. Hmmmm..... okay let's start over.

"click to download file" (click..)

"open file?" (yes..)

Same blank screen, and more waiting, waiting, extra boxes, no bars to look at just a page that is blank. HHMMMMM......I MUST be missing something, try again.

"click to download file" (CLICK.....Mother Trucker CLICK!)

"open file?" (YYYYEEEESSSSSSSSS...........!!!!)

Like I'm at the horse track waiting for my horse to win I sit in anticipation, talking to the screen,

"Come on, come on, come on, go, go, go!"


Same blank screen, nothing to look at, but a blank flippin' screen!! AAARRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHH!

I click another button, "upload later" and continue through more EASY steps of copy this and paste that on your site....okay simple enough. I navigate through both sites copy and paste, copy and paste, copy and paste......SAVE.....

"File saved". (that's right, take that!)

Would you like to test?

Why yes, yes I would......(click!)

To my amazement, I see the ever-loving Facebook icon on my blog! I did it!

Click on the "share" button like a good girl, because life and apparently Facebook, are all about sharing!

Waiting, waiting, cheering that my horse crosses the finish line this time.....

"website content has been reported abusive by Facebook users" okay!"

NNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! It's not OKAY! I will not click OKAY!

Now that I am completely frustrated, I shut it down and walk away, I'll look at it again later,( gave myself a time-out.) Later came, and later went, same outcome, more frustration. And so my friends we cannot play nice and "share" on Facebook. At this point it is NOT good for my mental health and I choose to stay in my corner before I throw an all out tantrum on the floor! Or I may break into the vodka right now, but Corey won't be home until after the children are in bed, and I have to drive to hip hop. (Although the vodka may enhance my hip hop moves......) no, no, I just will not try and "share"!

I will "blog on" and let you know when there is a new entry, so you can read on. Thanks for all your support and for enjoying a "look" through the window to my life, and finding amusement because you can "relate" to my everyday shenanigans!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bringing Sexy Back

For my husband's birthday back in October I decided that I would be his present to unwrap. I've been working out religiously with Jillian and it was time that he reap the rewards of my new found physique!
(oh and if you are reading this and you gave birth to me or you gave birth to my husband, please proceed to the blog entry "A New Religious Experience", and remember that we did go to church recently!)
.....Okay so, my lingerie wardrobe consists of 100% cotton night shirts with spaghetti straps trimmed with lace, the color of pink and Disney prints on the front, and to really get racy some have a slit up the side! ( I know, so fantastically hot right?)
I figured that maybe it's time to spice things up a bit and add some red to my repertoire. I recruit my shopping partner in crime and off we go with the kids to the Big City to find my husband a present!
Just by habit I go straight for the cotton nightgowns, (there were new colors and prints! Red with white polka dots!) YES!
My girlfriend, politely pulls me in the direction of the not -so- mom side of the store.....oh....(I thought this part was only for women that haven't pushed a 7 or 8 pound human being out of their "hoo ha"!)
I was quickly assured that it is okay, this is what he will want to see me in! Putting all of my trust in her, we pick out a little something, and another and another. - Apparently all these parts go together to make one outfit!
I proceed to the dressing room, look at all the pieces and put it together like a puzzle. The top is a black bustier and the bottom piece is something called a garter belt.


I force myself into the bustier, and slip on the belt. Standing back looking at myself in the mirror, I ask through the door,

"Ummm, am I supposed to look like a stuffed sausage in this?"

"Let me see, I'm sure it's not that bad."

"Okay, here goes...."

"Right. Well let me just go see if they have the next size up, your boobs should not look like one."

Off she goes and finds the size, I put that one on and it looked a little better, certainly not a free flowing night gown, but not bad! I take it off and am ready to buy it, trying to hurry before I lose my nerve completely. But we aren't done yet, we need to add stockings to the ensemble! 10 minutes later I think I have what I need and finish the sale.

This is going to be the best $ 78 he has ever spent for his birthday!!!

We make it home and I am so excited to surprise him with the unexpected, feeling really good about myself, that's right, two kids and the stretch marks to prove it, I'll BLOW his MIND!

Being coached on how to put everything together I decided that I'll have to do a practice run, before the big reveal. I set the kids up with coloring and lock myself in my room. I carefully lay the pieces out on the bed, admiring my purchase, and then start to sweat. What was I thinking, I can't pull this off, (okay stop, yes you can!)

I put the stockings on first, and as I'm pulling them up my legs, I make a mental note to shave, pretty sure the hair is not supposed to poke through the black silk. Right.

Next comes the belt, oh boy, which way is it supposed to go....oh that's right the clasps go downwards. Check!

Now to attach the stockings to the clasps, no problem. After struggling with the rubber claps for about 10 minutes I remember that I was told to attach the stockings first and then put them on as one. So off go the stockings and belt and I start over.

Finally, I got them together, (not without a few curse words), I am suddenly exhausted, and try to muster up the energy for the bustier. I put it on backwards so that I can do up the bazillion clasps and hope for the best as I try and turn it around to the correct position. Finally it's all done up, my fingers hurt and I am really sweating now, thinking that someone should put out a DVD for housewives that don't quite know the art of building a lingerie outfit, I'm sure it would be a best seller, or maybe I am the only one that has no clue!

Turning the piece around proved to be a show in itself. Because of all the sweat it was stuck at the sides of me, so that means the cups were under my arm on one side and the clasps were digging in on the other, my boobs had stretched and pulled to the side with the fabric, I look in the mirror and think - yup, I'm gonna blow his mind for sure! I sat down on the bed to take a rest for a bit and finally tug one more time and finally got it into position. Placed the "girls" in the correct cups gave one more hoist up and admired the final outcome.

 Huh......all that work for this?

Okay, I'm going need something else, something else, something else. Oh I know, boots! I can wear my shiny black knee high boots....yeeeaaahhhh baby!

I rummage through my closet and pull out the boots, sit, or try to sit on the bed to slip them on. All done up I stood up and took a step, tripped on the bag the lingerie came in and fell into the closet.

CRASH! Ouch, that's gonna leave a mark!

The kids hear the commotion and run to the door, "Mom! Are you okay, what are you doing?"

"I'm fine, something fell, I'm just wrapping your dad's present."

"Oh, can we see it?"

"NO! I'm almost done, go finish coloring!"

I pull myself up and laugh, yup ,I'm really gonna blow his mind!

Now that I'm all put together I figure I'll try out some "bedroom eye" looks in the mirror. After trying my best looks for a while, again wonder if there is a DVD for housewives on the art of seduction, because clearly I need help! I call my girlfriend for moral support as I am ready to just throw in the towel and find my best cotton nightgown and be done with it. She brings me back to that place of confidence and I feel like I can actually do it without him laughing at me too.

My conscious effort to "Bring Sexy Back" was appreciated and every now and then I look at the outfit and giggle -reminding myself that sexy is a state of mind, and I can blow his mind in a cotton nightgown, a binding uncomfortable number or in a pink fuzzy housecoat, he loves Me not what I'm wearing!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

That's Another One For Therapy

As parents we do our very best to ensure our kids have a memorable childhood, one that makes them feel fulfilled in their adult lives. One that they can be proud of and want to bring their significant others home to meet us, and hopefully keep them out of weekly therapy sessions where they will blame us for everything gone wrong. In the 6 short years that I have been a mother, I KNOW I have already contributed to some of those sessions. I won't tell you about ALL of them, you don't have that kind of time, and you may question my ability to keep raising these girls, so I can just touch on a few recent ones.

For some reason Emma has had a rough time sleeping through the night last week, and she woke up at least 3 times to come and tell me about it. The first time I was still awake, so it wasn't so bad. She'd had a dream that a giant marshmallow came to sleep with her and she was scared by that. I let her cuddle with me in bed for a bit and off we went to put her back to sleep with wishes of pleasant dreams of princesses and chocolate. (handled that one pretty good-pat, pat on the back)

Until the next night.....

It was about 2 or 3 in the morning, I am sleeping away, dreaming of princesses,( or maybe princes) and chocolate, I suddenly feel like someone is watching me so I open one eye, slowly.


I jump right up trying to get my heart back out of my throat, and to breath so I don't bring on a stroke! Emma is standing right at my face, staring, hands crossed in front of her, not saying a word. She looked just like that girl from the movie The Ring, you know the one that crawls out of the well. Yeah, so not only am I trying not to have a stroke I'm trying not to pee myself, or hit my kid in "self-defence"!

"WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM, don't sneak up on me like that, I just about punched you in the face!" (good one Catharine....)

"I mean, what's wrong, why are you up?"

Tears start now, (yup, good one) "I had a bad dream and now you said you were gonna punch me in the face!" WWHHHHHAAAAAAAA.......... (oh geez......)

"NO, NO, NO.....I didn't mean that, you just scared me because I was sleeping and didn't expect you there! Sorry Emma......What was your dream about?"

"My shoe broke and a train went by me really fast."

"Did the train hit you?"

"NO! Could it hit me?!!!" (oh geez.....) Nice. Now I'm adding to it.....

"Okay well the good news is you woke up, now for even better news, I'll put you back to bed and you can dream of princesses and chocolate. And next time you need to wake me up, maybe announce yourself softly and poke me in the arm instead of just staring at me, and hopefully you won't get hurt."


I tried my best to go back to sleep but all I could think of is when she goes to school she 's going to tell her teacher that I was going to punch her in the face!!!! And then how about the time when she asked if she could eat lunch and I said, "Hang on, I'm checking Facebook!" Great, now her teacher thinks I don't feed her, because I am addicted to social networking. Or when I was brushing her hair in a hurry and it was being pulled and she cried and said, "Stop brushing so fast Mommy you're hurting my feelings." And I said, "Seriously? Get used to it, being a girl is hard!" I'm surprised I haven't been called in to have a "meeting" at school to see how things are going at home!

I know I'm not alone, and as much as we make mistakes that may lead them to a therapist we won't be far behind in our own sessions or just simply self medicating for things they've said and done to us.

I have two favourites so far.... when Emma was about 3ish, we were at the video store in town and she was over looking at the movie covers in the comedy section, when she comes across a picture of a woman's cleavage, it was rather large yet clothed and she yells, "Hey Mom! Check out the nipples on her!" Clear as day, and EVERYONE heard. (sigh). And another is when my girlfriend was out with her nine year old son and we were watching a stand up comedy DVD and the comedian says the word "sex", and without missing a beat her son says, "Hey mom, that's what you need to do with Dad!" She tried her best to shush him, but I am not mature enough to just ignore that, and so I pretty much lost it with laughter, and snorts and tears!

I pray my moments in lack of judgement don't have a permanent impact on my kids little minds, and that they come out of their childhood productive members of society. And I pray that I come out of raising them, sober, and with many, many blog entries to read at their weddings!

Friday, April 9, 2010

What Do You Want For Your Birthday?

My birthday is coming up, again, seems to always show up the same time every year even when I least expect it. Emma is excited for it, only because it is another birthday she can tick off the calendar until it is her own! She asked me what I wanted for a gift, and I told her I didn't need anything, now that I have my laptop, oh and two little girls that fill my heart with pride and joy and some days a little bit of stress, and of course my loving husband that paid for that laptop!

Seems as though that explanation was way over her little head, so walked away with a furrowed brow, and said, "Well you think about it a little longer and let me know, okay?"

And so I did think about it. I've had 5 birthdays come and go now without my morning phone call from my Dad. He always called first thing in the morning no matter where he was, to wish me a "Happy Birthday" and tell me that he loved me. Some years it was pretty early, and I may have not appreciated the gesture as much as I do now. So I wonder if anyone working for cell phone companies could check with their IT departments and see if there is a signal strong enough to dial 1-800-MISS-UDAD!

I would also love to have another lunch date with him and share an ice cream cake! We both thought the invention of the DQ ice cream cake was the best invention EVER! But boy would he agree that the newest best invention ever are Skor Bites!

Two birthday requests that I'm sure Wal-Mart or Best Buy don't have in stock quite yet, so I'll settle for the awesome memories of birthdays past, and a thankful heart, for my family and friends that love me, encourage me, and feed me cheesecake every now and then!

I am learning every year, that yes, life does go on when we lose someone special, either to be with God, or they've taken a different path in their own life that may lead them out of ours. And that it is okay to move forward without them. They are not physically beside you, but always in your thoughts and only as far away as your best memory together. That being said, as much as I miss you, Daddy, with every breath that I take , and every birthday that you're not on the other end of the phone, know that my tears turn to smiles with every phone call I receive from people with wishes of a "Happy Birthday!" Because of you that simple gesture is the best birthday gift of all.

Happy Birthday to you Daddy and Happy Birthday to me, we'll meet again one day to have that lunch and share that cake, but in the mean time, see if you can check with God's IT Department to hook you up on Facebook, or just Google it!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A New Religous Experience

Emma has been asking us about church lately and we thought that Easter would be a good time to introduce her to the whole experience. I made the suggestion that we should go with Corey's dad since he has been following a new path in his life and has asked us to join him a few times. Corey made the call to find out where and what time we should meet him. I thought that he was still going to the same church as he started out at which was one that I would have been familiar with from my own religious upbringing. Turns out that he has gone back to his Catholic roots and has found a church right close to his home, and that mass starts at 8:30 am! Hmmmm......okay well, that means get the kids up and dressed and out of the house by 7:15 am....on a Sunday.....uhh....maybe we bit off more than we could chew! I thought about changing my mind but, if Jesus could go through his own personal torture and die for my sins, I guess I can get my family to church to say thanks!

The morning rush to get everyone ready went so smooth, we were in the truck and on the highway 10 minutes ahead of schedule! So far so good, God really wants us there! Yay! We pick up Herb and off we go! The girls looked great in their new handmade dresses from their Great Aunty Jayne, Herb in his suit, and Corey and I cleaned up pretty good too! As we get closer to the building my heart starts to race with anticipation of going into the unknown. I have never been to an actual Sunday mass, as I am not Catholic, only been present for a wedding or two, and two graduations.

We were greeted with a friendly smile and a big Welcome from a lady, we marched behind Herb into the sanctuary. So far so good, we made it in the building, and God didn't make the earth shake, he must be okay with the fact we are here! We find a pew at the back and get the girls all set up with their backpack full of activities. Music is playing softly, a choir of men all lined up and ready to help us worship, everything so far seems about the same as what I know to be church. People are filing in and we are doing our best to fit in, not wanting to stick out like a sore thumb, like we are one of those people that show up for Easter and Christmas! But it didn't take long for the people around us to figure out that we were "first timers"!

A couple sat down beside us and lowered down what I thought was a foot rest. I politely said thank-you and got comfortable for just a second. Oh. You kneel on that, and it's for you pray on. Okay! Well my "cover" has been officially blown! I start to sweat and try not look nervous, telling myself it will get better once we start the singing. Singing I can do. I start to think of the old hymns I know and love, and picture my grandpa up at the front leading the congregation in song and praise, with the tap of his foot and the snap of his fingers to the beat. Grandma sitting in the pew upfront singing and harmonizing with a smile on her face and peace in her heart. Ahhhh....the comforts of church. I can do this!

The music starts and the overhead screens light we go! Which one will we start with? Amazing Grace, The Old Rugged Cross? Nope. A tune I don't know and the words to go with it. Okay, I'll try and hum......that's not working either, how about I just listen and maybe catch the next one. The choir continues along with the piano, flute and drums, they sounded great. Sad that I couldn't sing along but happy to be with my family, and even more amused at my kids as they stared and tried their best to take in all the action. The music portion didn't last as long as what I was used to and the readings began.

The woman read her piece, the congregation replied, and again I was lost.

I lean over to Corey and ask, "We're supposed to talk back?"

Confused, I am looking for the script we are following, STILL trying my best to "look" like I know what I'm doing. Everyone does the sign of the cross. Darn. Missed that one too! The kids are busy with their stuff, Emma is coloring, Elise is playing with her Little People, we are standing and sitting and kneeling, and standing again. I am slowing getting the hang of the Catholic religion or so I thought. The Priest comes out and begins to speak. Again, the congregation replies where they should, crosses, stands and kneels. I decide to just be quiet and tend to the kids as they are now trying to talk to the people around them. I look up and then the Priest is gone. I lean over to Corey and ask where he went.

"He's doing a blessing."


Looking for the priest, I still can't see him, but I can hear him. Elise is catching some words too and starts to repeat them. The Priest says, "The Son".

So Elise replies quite loud, "THE SON? WHERE THE SON? THERE NO SON MOMMY!"

I look down and whisper in her ear, "SShhhh, we're listening."


I try and ignore her and look around again for the" missing" Priest, as I look up I see this white flash go by our pew and a huge branch of what looked like a pine tree, then a splash of water right in my eye!

"What the He....?"

"Corey, What was that?" He politely ignores me and I finally get it.

"Oh, that was the blessing, right?"

"YEESSSS!", Sounded almost like a hiss from a cat, I think he was annoyed with my questions....hmmmm

Next came communion, that I am familiar with, just not in the same fashion, we quietly sit and wait for this portion to be done. The girls getting more and more restless. Elise asking everyone around if we can go home yet. As the service comes to an end the girls are racing to get their stuff back into the bag, and their coats on, we shake hands with the people around us, getting smiles and blessings, Emma says, "Are we DONE yet?"

"Just about, shhh..."

Making our way out, I breathe a sigh of relief, we did really well, the girls were good, no screaming or crying and again God didn't make the earth shake, so He was happy we went. Herb has a look of pure joy on his face and was proud . A member of the church told him that he had a beautiful family, which made him beam even harder.

"Well, that was different," I said.

"No, that was great," said Herb, "Thank-you for coming. Church is church, no matter where you go."

I thought about that, and yes, he's right. As long as we have the freedom to worship, then church is church and as long as we can come together as children of God, without prejudice, church is church.
I am happy to have had the experience, sorry that I didn't know the actions or words to say, but I know in the end it doesn't matter. Knowing where to rest your feet, stand, cross, sit, and speak would have been useful......but...... What matters is knowing God is where ever you are. He doesn't have to be in a building but in your heart, mind and spirit.

I hope that my ignorance of the Catholic religion will not be taken as disrespect, just a little comic relief! God has a sense of humour too, that much I know is universal in all types of religion!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mom, I'm Bored!

I made it through my first Spring Break, I still have a full head of hair but a few more greys! It officially started 11 days ago, I mentally prepared myself for what was to come, but that mental preparedness did not last long. The words I knew I would hear at some point during the break came at 8:00 am the very first day..."Mooommmmm, I'm bored."(shiver) I took a deep breath, took another gulp of my coffee and pretended I did not hear her. "MOM! I said I'M B-O-R-E-D!" (shiver) I calmly put my coffee down, turned my head and smiled,
"Oh? Well maybe you should find something to do. You have a bedroom that is in need of cleaning, or your playroom could use a good once over too, you could color, you could read, you could go outside......."
"NO! I don't WANT to do that!"
"Well then I'm out of ideas, what would you like to do my dear sweet child?"
"UUMMMMMM....I know! Let's go to Disneyland!"
"I'm pretty sure that won't happen, so maybe do one of the suggestions I already gave you and let your mother wake up first, then we'll see what we can do." (keep smiling Catharine, it makes you sound happy, happy, happy!)
"UGH....F-I-N-E!" (11 more days to go, keep smiling Catharine, keep smiling!)
We managed to get in a lot of activities, a birthday party at Princess Palace, sleepover at Julie's one night, then sleepover at our place the next night, decorated eggs and also caught a movie at the theatre. And we still had Easter to get through!
We decided to get out of the house as a family on Good Friday. We went to Boston Pizza for lunch and that is where our kids just made us laugh out loud. While we are waiting for our meals our waitress is getting drinks for other tables, she has a tray full, and a look of determination on her face as she is headed to the next table. Emma decides that this is the right time to get her attention. Frantically waving she says, "EXCUSE ME! EXCUSE ME!"
The waitress stops, almost losing her tray, and politely looks at Emma, "Yes, Sweetie?"
"UMMMM......Hi!" (giggle)
"Okay....Hi!" and off she goes looking at us to see if that is really all she wanted.
"Mom, Mom, I said hi to that lady!" (giggle)
"Yes, you sure did!"
Our meal comes, Elise is picking and eating, picking and eating, up on the chair, off the chair and under the chair. Something we are used to, as long as she isn't bugging anyone else we let her do her thing. From nowhere she stands on her chair backwards and yells across the room, "HEY! HEY! I DOOONNNNEEEE!" Our waitress did not hear her so when she didn't get a response Elise tries again, "HEEELLLLLLOOOOOOOO! I SAID, I DONE!"
I quickly tell her to turn around, and she says, "But Mommy.....I DONE!"
We made a quick departure.
Easter came and went, family dinners and an egg hunt, surprise birthday party for me, really busy but good. Too busy for our little Emma though. Sunday night she was full of tears over anything and everything! Just plain tired. I get it, so was I, but with only 1 day left of Spring Break I managed to not cry!
I honestly did not think that I was going to make it through the very last day. The girls were sick of each other, sick of the house, and sick of me. We fought all day long, and it seemed to drag on forever, I was never so relieved for bedtime! Once they were in bed I felt a little like a kid on Christmas Eve!
I woke up early, so excited to get back to the routine of our week! School, Tap, Ballet, lunches, Bring it on! I was so pumped about it that I forgot to put the coffee carafe back after pouring in the water to brew a pot and had coffee all over the counter! I cleaned it up, humming away as if it didn't even happen! Emma slept in of course,( everyday for Spring Break she was up early and today she gets up late, so typical)! Got her ready in record time, practically skipping her out the door! Elise gave her hugs and kisses and said "See you soon Emma! Hab a good day!"
With a sigh of relief as she walked into the school, I felt like my world was going to be back to normal. I pour myself another cup of coffee, sit down to check my email, and not 30 seconds after Elise comes around the corner, "MOMMY......I B-O-R-E-D!"(shiver) Awesome........God Bless Us All!